Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Wish, a Prayer, and a Little Bit of Nope

Posted by: R.L. Naquin
This is Oatmeal. He wants us all to do less working and
 more napping. He's also part of the reason I now
have an office downtown.
I almost opted out of my turn this month at Here Be Magic. My plate is alarmingly full. Nobody would have thought less of me—people regularly admit to a lack of time, and someone else fills in for them or an archived post goes up instead. It’s cool. Nobody’s mean here. Everybody has the same time-crunch problems.

Instead, I’m writing this when I should be writing one of several projects with looming deadlines. Because no is a little tough for me. I bet a lot of you have the same problem.

Due to two back-to-back trips covering three of the last four weeks, I’m behind and struggling to catch up. Let’s look at what’s on my plate:

  • Book three of the Muse series, so overdue people are beginning to think it’s never coming. 
  • Episode two of Undercover Gorgon, overdue enough that readers have probably forgotten about it. 
  • Book one of the new Djinn Haven series, due to my publisher the end of August. 
  • Three more Undercover Gorgon episodes by the end of August. 
  • A project I agreed to do when I was at the RT convention last month—I’m super excited, but I can’t even start on it until the other things are done. It’s due to be published the first week of October, so has to be done by September so it can be edited. 
  • The last Undercover Gorgon episode (or two) for season one by the end of October so the box set can be released in time for the holidays. 
  • ConQuesT convention in Kansas City over Memorial Day weekend at which I’m scheduled to do a reading and be on five panels. 
  • Speaking at a writers workshop the weekend after that, followed by a book signing. 
  • A mentoring luncheon in July for a youth leadership group. 

I look at this list and I want to cry. And it only covers the next five months or so. Why did I think I could do all of it? Why am I sitting here writing a blog post instead of finishing something—anything—on that list?

A lot of people can’t say no because they want to please everyone. I can honestly say, that’s not my problem. Sure. I want to make people happy. But that’s not why I keep adding to my list. I do it because I get this ridiculous idea that I can do anything. It’s ugly, ugly pride. Plus, I crunch the numbers and truly believe it can all be done.

And maybe it can.

I’ve taken steps. I rented an office downtown so I can focus better. I’m trying to take better physical care of myself so my mental abilities will fall in line. I’ve got careful outlines of all the projects I’m currently working on, and I use different tools like and Pomodoro to help keep me focused.

I could have said no to writing this post. But I know you’re doing the same thing—saying yes to stuff because you want to do All the Things. Let’s help each other. See what’s on your plate. Is it a little too full? Try not to say yes to something new unless you can do it without stressing yourself out. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it all—but maybe you shouldn’t.

I saw an anthology call for submissions this morning. I was intrigued. Excited. I started thinking of things I could write for it. But you know what? I have enough right now.

I’m going to say no.

Tell me in the comments what you’re not going to do!

Rachel writes stories that drop average people into magical situations filled with heart and quirky humor.

She believes in pixie dust, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks and putting things off until the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas. Rachel has one husband, two grown kids and a crazy-catlady starter kit.

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  1. Good post! So true, we want to do it all and we really think we can....sounds like you're getting a handle on it though. Best wishes!

  2. Thanks,Veronica. :-) I'm trying. And I figured maybe other people needed to remember they don't have to do everything, too.

  3. Your cat looks just like mine! So cute!

    1. He thinks he's still a tiny kitten but he's 26 lbs. :-)


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